My experience in the DC Neighborhood College (DCNC) over the past year has been an eye-opening and extremely informative experience. I strongly urge you to apply if you have an interest in community development, activism, and leadership. The 2008-09 cohort will be a year-long commitment that includes one module per month (Thursday and Friday after work and Saturday during the day) along with an independent, community-based project that culminates in a public poster session and presentation.
George Washington University's Center for Excellence in Public Leadership (CEPL) is the home of the DC Neighborhood College, a citywide program that trains community and civic leaders to lead, organize, and influence positive change in their communities [this program was formally a DC Agenda program).
The program’s goals include developing cross-District networks of highly skilled community and civic leaders who are:
· Active in neighborhood revitalization and working to take advantage of opportunities afforded by government and private initiatives
· Connected to local, regional, and national resources
· Informed by knowledge of best practices and successful innovations in neighborhood empowerment and revitalization
· Supported by sustained training and involvement of thought and practice leaders
The Neighborhood College seeks applicants from all eight of the District’s wards and a broad representation of ages, ethnicities, and civic organizations. Participants must be District residents and are selected through a competitive application process.
Download a DC Neighborhood College brochure (PDF/744Kb).
Applications are due Friday, January 18, 2008 by 3:00 p.m. Click here to read more about the Neighborhood College.
“I use the knowledge I've gained about economic development, project management, and leadership skills on a daily basis. I'd love to participate in other programs that DC Neighborhood College offers and encourage anyone that will listen to consider participating in the program. It was truly a great experience.”
— Neighborhood College Graduate
For more information or an application, contact:
DC Neighborhood College
» If accepted, you will receive a full scholarship to attend.
» You can view the 2008-09 schedule here.
» You can download the application here.
I've kept my independent project close to home by creating the framework for a hypothetical Woodridge Community Development Corporation (CDC) focusing initially on the Rhode Island Avenue commercial corridor running through our neighborhood. I've started building a website to coincide with the project, though it's not yet ready to go live. I hope to maintain that site in addition to this blog once my DCNC cohort finishes in March as a way of keeping the community up-to-date on development in the area. If anything, I've gained invaluable knowledge about the inner-workings of DC, community organizing, and leadership that will continue to guide me in my community engagement...do yourself - and your community - a favor and apply.